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Knoxville and Knox County mayors: Local businesses won't reopen until May 1

The mayors said they are still working on the plans, but want to ensure some businesses will be able to open by next Friday.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said they want to begin reopening businesses in the area starting May 1.

The two said they are still working together to form the plans with the joint city/county task force.

“I had hoped we would be able to get people back to work before May 1, and as a former small business owner myself, I understand how stressful and frustrating this situation has been,” said Mayor Jacobs. “I still believe that government shouldn’t tell businesses when and how to operate, but now that it has, we have a responsibility to work with the business community to carefully craft guidelines and communicate them directly and thoroughly to provide as much certainty and opportunity for success as we can in what remains a very fluid situation.”

The two said they can't release any more details until they hold a joint press conference at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 27 at the City/County Building.

“I am grateful for the many public health experts who analyzed local data and worked to develop a gradual plan to safely reopen local businesses," Mayor Kincannon said. "It is important that we all continue to take the necessary safety precautions like physical distancing and wearing face masks. However, I am hopeful we can have healthy residents and a healthy economy. We will closely watch the health trends in our area and continue to carefully assess what is safe for our community.”

Gov. Lee said Friday that counties and cities outside the largest metropolitan areas can begin reopening restaurants and retail stores starting next week before his April 30 'Safer at Home' order expires, asking them to follow a number of safety and social distancing recommendations.

RELATED: Gov. Lee outlines 'Tennessee Pledge' reopening plan; many restaurants will be allowed to reopen at half capacity starting Monday

RELATED: Knox Co. reporting 207 confirmed coronavirus cases with 24 active cases and 179 already recovered

RELATED: What businesses could reopen starting Monday? Health Dept. says that's being discussed right now

RELATED: Nashville mayor releases his reopening plan & it could tell us what to expect for the rest of Tennessee

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